Thursday, June 10, 2010


There are days when I like lemonade and there are days when I tolerate it. It usually has to do whether it is well made or not. Homemade is, of course, the very best. Especially raspberry lemonade.

And there are days when I enthusiastically support a kid’s lemonade stand and there are days when I begrudgingly support it. And usually it has to do with the quality of their lemonade and the service with which they sell it. But even when their product is kind of crappy, like today’s drink was, I still support their efforts. When it’s good stuff, I’ll buy two or three drinks. When it’s bad, only one.

I always ask the kids, “Is it good?” and they always assure me it is. Obviously their standard of what is good or bad varies greatly from mine.

Take for example, today’s young boy at the corner near the library. He had brightly colored pendants drawing your attention to his lemonade stand. He had a colorful tablecloth, colorful cups (with a Christmas tree design) and the temperature was in the mid-eighties. He had a good location, good signage and good packaging.

Then there was his personality. Or rather, the lack of it. No smile, no pizzazz, not much of anything. But what the heck, this is young capitalism and worthy of my support.

Then there was his product. First, it wasn’t lemonade, even though he said it was. It was, I think, watermelon-ade. The water was barely cool. The “ade” was short on sweetness and short on taste in general. I’m guessing he took a 1-quart package and made a 2-quart product.

Not only would he only get one purchase from me, when my neighbors would ask about it, he wouldn’t get a very good recommendation.

A few blocks later, there was another lemonade stand. No pendants, but a nice sign. No colorful tablecloth or cups, but a clean table and sturdy Styrofoam cups. The lemonade pitcher was made of glass, was mostly full and colorful with ice cubes made of the lemonade they were selling.

Personality? Out of their ears. Smiles. Joy. Enthusiasm. These kids understood the value of good salesmanship.

And Product? Simply outstanding. This was real homemade pink lemonade. Real lemons. Real raspberries. Real sugar. Filtered water. And if my taste buds are not mistaken, a shot or two of real grenadine.

I bought one and drank it immediately. Cool and refreshing, I bought another one to take with me. At only fifty cents a cup, it was well worth the buck. I complimented them on their excellent lemonade and their service. They thanked me enthusiastically.

About a half hour later, done with my errands, I made a point of driving by their stand one more time. I bought two more cups and gave them a four-dollar tip. Yes, I know, that was too much tip. But as I said earlier, this is young capitalism and worthy of my support. I hope they’re out there often this summer. Maybe I can even convince them to give me the recipe for their lemonade.

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